Queen River

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Queen River.JPG
Country Australia
State Tasmania
Region West Coast
City Queenstown
Source Mount Lyell, West Coast Range
 - location Gormanston
 - coordinates 42°0′56″S 145°34′46″E / 42.01556°S 145.57944°E / -42.01556; 145.57944
Source confluence West Queen River and East Queen River
 - location Queenstown
 - elevation 164 m (538 ft)
 - coordinates 42°3′47″S 145°33′30″E / 42.06306°S 145.55833°E / -42.06306; 145.55833
Mouth King River
 - elevation 60 m (197 ft)
 - coordinates 42°09′23″S 145°31′42″E / 42.15639°S 145.52833°E / -42.15639; 145.52833Coordinates: 42°09′23″S 145°31′42″E / 42.15639°S 145.52833°E / -42.15639; 145.52833
Length 13 km (8 mi)
Location of the Queen River mouth
in Tasmania

The Queen River, part of the King River catchment, is a minor perennial river located in the West Coast region of Tasmania, Australia.

Course and features[edit]

The Queen River rises below Gormanston, sourced by runoff from the West Coast Range and in particular the peaks of Mount Lyell and Mount Owen. The two branches of the river, West Queen River and East Queen River, merge north of Queenstown and flow through the city and continue south, joined by one minor tributary before reaching its confluence with the King River, to the west of .

The river valley is low-lying and narrow, and the subsequent fogs are notable in their effect, some created by smelter fumes in earlier years [2][3][4]

In April 1906, a significant flooding occurred in Queenstown and the southern part of the town [5]


For over 80 years the main carrier of Mount Lyell Mining and Railway Company mining residue, and the local sewage. It is estimated[by whom?] that 100 million tonnes (98,000,000 long tons) of tailings were disposed of into the Queen River. This in turn flowed into the lower part of the King River, and then into a delta at the mouth of the river where it met Macquarie Harbour.[6][7] Following the Mount Lyell Remediation and Research and Demonstration Program construction of tailings dams, and general reduction of waste into this river, the river flow is now rusty in colour rather than silvery grey as it was previously.

The river passes under and adjacent to the revitalised railway now known as the West Coast Wilderness Railway. South of Queenstown on the edge of the river is the early settlement of Lynchford where a gold mine and other mining activity supported a small community in the early days of the railway.[8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Map of Queen River, TAS". Bonzle Digital Atlas of Australia. 2015. Retrieved 30 June 2015. 
  2. ^ "FOG AT QUEENSTOWN.". Launceston Examiner (Tas. : 1842 - 1899). Tas.: National Library of Australia. 28 June 1899. p. 6. Retrieved 19 June 2015. 
  3. ^ "A DENSE FOG.". Examiner (Launceston, Tas. : 1900 - 1954). Launceston, Tas.: National Library of Australia. 7 July 1905. p. 6 Edition: DAILY. Retrieved 19 June 2015. 
  4. ^ "QUEENSTOWN.". Zeehan and Dundas Herald (Tas. : 1890 - 1922). Tas.: National Library of Australia. 22 June 1914. p. 4. Retrieved 19 June 2015. 
  5. ^ "HEAVY FLOODS IN TASMANIA.". The Register (Adelaide, SA : 1901 - 1929). Adelaide, SA: National Library of Australia. 19 April 1906. p. 5. Retrieved 19 June 2015. 
  6. ^ Davies, P.; Mitchell, N.; Barmuta, L. (1996). The impact of historical mining operations at Mount Lyell on the water quality and biological health of the King and Queen River catchments, western Tasmania. Mount Lyell Remediation Research and Demonstration Program. Canberra: Supervising Scientist Report 118, Supervising Scientist. ISBN 0-642-24317-4. 
  7. ^ McQuade, C. V.; Johnston, J. F.; Innes, S. M. Review of historical literature and data on the sources and quality of effluent from the Mount Lyell lease site. Mount Lyell Remediation Research and Demonstration Program. Canberra: Supervising Scientist Report 104, Supervising Scientist. ISBN 0-642-24303-4. 
  8. ^ Rae, Lou (2001). The Abt Railway and Railways of the Lyell region. Sandy Bay: Lou Rae. ISBN 0-9592098-7-5.